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Tim Carroll

M. David Mullen & The Astronaut Farmer in AC

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David - I hate to take you back to the original thread subject after such a diverse departure, "M. David Mullen & The Astronaut Farmer in AC", but could I inquire about your experience in shooting in New Mexico? New Mexico has been very aggressive and responsive, but I'd like to get a feel about their crews and work environment -- sound stage facilities.

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We shot in the semi-abandoned prison in Santa Fe (apparently the location of a notoriously bloody prison riot a few decades ago) -- used as a location for the remake of "The Longest Yard". It had some garage areas we stuck some small sets in. I suppose Albuquerque has some larger warehouses for sets. Santa Fe is not big on any big buildings...

 

We shot in Las Vegas, NM too, east of Santa Fe. It has some period streets.

 

I got one of the best Gaffers ever, Steve Litecky, who lives there. And Phil Pfieffer was a great second unit DP. I had to bring my own Key Grip there, couldn't find anyone. Quality of grips were variable but the electrics seemed good. Whenever you go to these places, there are some great crews but if they aren't available, if they are already hired on something else, you're left with the bottom of the barrel sometimes - the guys that other locals say "don't ever hire this guy" sort of thing. The workforce can be very good but very small, so it doesn't take more than a couple of productions happening at the same time in the state for you to have to start bringing in outside help to compensate.

 

Because of the tax breaks, more and more LA folks are buying homes out there in New Mexico, Louisiana, etc. to live, raise a family, and the qualify as locals.

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<snip>

I got one of the best Gaffers ever, Steve Litecky, who lives there. And Phil Pfieffer was a great second unit DP. I had to bring my own Key Grip there, couldn't find anyone. Quality of grips were variable but the electrics seemed good. Whenever you go to these places, there are some great crews but if they aren't available, if they are already hired on something else, you're left with the bottom of the barrel sometimes - the guys that other locals say "don't ever hire this guy" sort of thing. The workforce can be very good but very small, so it doesn't take more than a couple of productions happening at the same time in the state for you to have to start bringing in outside help to compensate.

 

Because of the tax breaks, more and more LA folks are buying homes out there in New Mexico, Louisiana, etc. to live, raise a family, and the qualify as locals.

 

The incentives are good, but the exteriors I need are a stretch for Chicago. I've got most of my critical crew coming out of L.A. anyway, people I really trust. I was getting the feeling that the rest was rather thin, with other productions going in there now.

 

Well thanks. It sounded inviting.

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